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We are thrilled to host Roger Rosenblatt for a reading and discussion of his new book Cataract Blues: Running the Keyboard. With illustrations by Jules Feiffer, this book is not only a celebration of the musicality of language, supported by illustrations that make this book a small treasure, but it is a reflection on life. An event not to be missed. Signed books available at registration and at the bottom of this page.
Free and live on zoom- register HERE.
About the book:
In his latest book, award-winning author Roger Rosenblatt charts a journey that is as visual as it is poetic. Cataract Blues, on the surface, is a collection of lyric fragments illustrated by the legendary Jules Feiffer.
A careful reading (and viewing) rewards bibliophiles (and optical aficionados) with a nuanced, thoughtful, and magical paper machine that is about seeing, cataracts, mystery, the blues, insight, love, and memory.
At once a masterpiece of creative non-fiction and a poetic experiment, 'Blues invites readers to consider new approaches to the visual and the literary.
About the author:
Roger Rosenblatt is the author of five New York Times Notable Books of the Year, four Times bestsellers, and seven Off-Broadway plays. Among his honors are two George Polk Awards; the Peabody and an Emmy for his essays at Time magazine and on PBS; the Briggs-Copeland appointment in the teaching of writing at Harvard; a Fulbright to Ireland, where he played on the Irish International Basketball Team; seven honorary doctorates; and the Kenyon Review Award for Lifetime Literary Achievement. Though he can't read a note, he still hopes to land a gig playing jazz piano in any dive, anywhere.
About the cartoonist:
JULES FEIFFER has won a number of prizes for his cartoons, plays, and screenplays, including the Pulitzer Prize for editorial cartooning. Among the books he’s illustrated for children are The Phantom Tollbooth, Some Things Are Scary, and in collaboration with his daughter Kate, Henry the Dog with No Tail, and No Go Sleep. He is the author and illustrator of Bark, George, I Lost My Bear, Meanwhile, and The Man in the Ceiling.
"While everyone around you is seeing red, along comes a happy outpatient who's just nuts about the color blue. Prompted by his wildly successful eye surgery, Roger Rosenblatt celebrates his new favorite wavelength by letting it wash over everything that matters - nature, history, music, memory, laughter, loss, and love. This is a master, at work and at play." - Garry Trudeau, author and illustrator of Doonesbury and Former Guy: Doonesbury in the Time of Trumpism
"Cataract Blues is a poem, a pastiche, an elegy and a riff-a celebration of life in all its colors and shades, its sweetness, its beauty, its comedy, its pain. A gift from two of our most cherished artists, jamming together - gloriously."
Alice McDermott - author of Charming Billy: A Novel and What About the Baby?
"It's a pleasure to watch Roger Rosenblatt's astute and lively mind skip nimbly from vision (in both the physical and metaphorical senses) to music, from poetry to film, from the joys of ordinary life to the inevitable pain ofloss-and to marvel at the skill with which he alchemizes all of it into something deeply moving and profound."
Francine Prose - author of Cleopatra: Her History, Her Myth and The Vixen: A Novel
"Roger Rosenblatt's Cataract Blues is a quilt of wisdom stitched together with secret music, sacred as prayers and inside jokes spoken in Roger's chummy voice that makes readers feel like lifelong friends. It's less a commonplace book than it is a museum of the mind curated by the heart--a heart like Whitman's, so full you keep reading to see which one is likely to burst first, his or yours.
Gregory Pardlo - author of Digest and Air Traffic: A Memoir of Ambition and Manhood in America
"A bit of alchemy, what Rosenblatt is able to do in these few pages--the prose, seemingly effortless, veers into a beautiful strangeness at every turn. It's a book, in part, about seeing, and how the world comes to us, when we are ready (and how even if we are not ready, still it comes). It circles around the central mystery of what it is to be alive, and allows that mystery to keep opening, endlessly. In its generosity, it recalls Rilke's Letters to a Young Poet, in that it gestures toward how to live a life of meaning. But it is so much more--it is wise and playful and necessary and ephemeral. I read this slim book in one sitting, only to have looked up at the end of it stunned, overcome with gratitude."
Nick Flynn - author of This Is the Night Our House Will Catch Fire
and Another Bullshit Night in Suck City